Thursday, April 26, 2007

Dear Senator,

In line with Mike's previous post on "creating space" (very worth a read and a comment), I recently sent a letter to Illinois Senator Barack Obama on a space creating issue of a different kind.

Dear Senator Obama,

I'm writing to ask 1) how I can help with current crises in Sudan and Somalia, and 2) to join my voice with the growing number of Americans who are calling for a radical redirection of our national foreign involvement in Africa and the Middle East. With hundreds of thousands slain and millions displaced in recent years, the Darfur and Mogadishu crises, and others like them, are begging for our attention.

I recall my shame in learning of our nation's insufficient action in the Rwanda slaughter of the mid 90's. That shame only deepened as I discovered of our unbelievable courses of action in other Latin American and African nations over the last several decades. I love our nation and earnestly hope we are growing to become more than our past; but such change can only be evidenced by the action of our leaders. Leaders like you.

I ask that you consider pressing our nation's international justice agenda away from culture-change of other nations (as we are attempting to do in Iraq) and toward the creation of "safe zones" within or near those nations in which refugees might permanently settle and begin forming a new culture of opportunity and equality. In essence, my suggestion is for the allocation and protection of space required for culture creation.

Instead of focusing our attention on the hostile antagonists such as the violent Janjaweed or other terrorist-like factions, I advocate for a redirection of our aim onto those people who are seeking lives of wholeness. I ask for us to shift our strategic eye toward creating and protecting permanent places where such a life can begin to grow. Lands within a land. Strongholds for peace, justice, and opportunity.

The idea for this springs out of the need presented by the overwhelming refugee reality observable in regions across the globe. They are going; but they have no place to go. This is my suggestion. Let’s give them a place.

Thank you, Senator, for your aggressive and innovative investment into these issues that define our very humanity. Thanks also for letting me know other ways I can help with the healing of these areas and their peoples.

Life and peace. Sincerely, John Lynch

If you haven't taken time to investigate the tragedies taking place right now in Mogadishu and Darfur, I encourage you to check it out (and write letters to your government representatives). I realize that Mike's post and my letter seem unrelated at first; but they do have something common. Space to connect. Mike is reaching out to spiritual and emotional refugees who have no place to go. No place to find new life. The non-Arab Africans in Sudan and Somalia are physical refugees with a similar dilemma.

If we're serious about living lives that are reconnected to God, self, kingdom dwellers, the unreconciled, and the created order, then we'll need to identify, create, and fight for space in which those kinds of relationships can form. Space to connect.


David said...

Great job John,
Have you thought of doing that so a bunch of people could sign it, or something like it.
Power to the people!
And it's so well written, why say it twice since I'd just copy you anyway.
Could we get an online petition going?

John Lynch said...

Hey brother, thanks for the shout out. From what I've been reading, the most influential forms communication to our government officials are individual letters (especially hand written) directly to each congressman and senator.

People can find their elected officians by visiting and typing their zip code in the box under "Write To Your Officials". Spread the word! Life and peace.

David said...